Sunday Grubday (2 Recipes)

This past week’s awesome meal was definitely the massive chuck roast that made 4 night’s dinner for Ben and I! I used the Mississippi Roast recipe from Table for Two.

We ate the roast along with baked potatoes and fresh green beans! I’m so glad green bean and corn season has begun! Corn on the cob and grilled green beans are two of my favorite summer dishes.

I’ve been trying to find more recipes for the crockpot for meat besides chicken because while I LOVE chicken, I like to mix things up. This beef recipe was perfect. We’re trying another one later this week – but I’m not sure how it will work out so I’ll save that one to share later if I approve.

However tonight we’re going back to chicken and this pesto chicken sounds (and already smells) delicious – here is the recipe!

I’ve been fighting a seriously nasty cold this week so I had to take yesterday off so I’ve moved my long run to Monday since I don’t have classes. Hopefully I’ll be able to breathe better tonight while I run.

Mileage – 4 miles, yoga, foam roller

QOD – ‘Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.

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Monday Grubday! Mini Apple Pies, Simple Salad, and Clean Tomato Soup

Happy Monday! I love Mondays when I don’t have any classes! It’s slowly works me into the week rather than feeling like I ran into a brick wall and that wonderful thing called a weekend is over.  

Today I have 3 great recipes to share with you! Unfortunately there aren’t any photos…because I accidentally deleted them. Bummer. 

The first is the delicious little desserts I made for Easter. We had Easter dinner with some great friends who made delicious pork, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes. We brought salad and dessert. I had Ben look through my sweets Pintrest board with me to choose and he loves pie so I had a guess what he would pick – individual apple pies. I got this recipe from Little Bit Funky and halved it since there were only 4 of us. Everyone really enjoyed them especially because I made half of the pies without cinnamon by mixing all the ingredients with the apples EXCEPT the cinnamon first then divided the ingredients into 2 bowls and added the cinnamon to one. 

Number 2 is the seriously simple salad and balsamic dressing that I made as a side. The salad was 1 container spring mix, 1 cup pecan halves, 1/3 cup blue cheese tossed together. The dressing is only marginally more complex:
Balsamic Dressing (all approximate measurements, make to your taste)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar  
1/4 tsp Nature’s seasoning 
Combine for deliciousness 

Finally a new-ish tomato soup recipe. This is a take off of a previous tomato soup recipe that I loved but lightened up just a little bit (made it clean!) and with all FRESH ingredients. 

Ingredients 
15 roma tomatoes (diced) 
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 handful fresh basil leaves (minced) 
1/3 cup plain 0% fat greek yogurt (room temperature) 
Salt to taste 

Directions 
1) Heath diced tomatoes, garlic, and basil over medium high heat in large sauce pan. When it begins to boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes. 
2) Blend with an immersion blender or blend portions of the soup at a time in a blender. Return to original pan. 
3) Mix in greek yogurt, stir a lot to really get it blended in. 
4) Enjoy! 

Ben ate this with chips and a big dollop of queso on top and really enjoyed it. It’s super quick and pretty easy and I just love how the flavors come out after being cooked together. 

Mileage – 4.15 miles, Yoga for Runners, foam roller/tennis ball 

QOD – Commit to be fit. 

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Sunday Grubday! (Protein Bar Recipe)

As I mentioned yesterday I will be doing a Pressed Juicery cleanse this week. To clarify, while I did say yesterday that the cleanse is to jumpstart getting off my weight plateau, I do not think in any way that a 1 day juice cleanse will help me lose weight. I understand it’s all water weight and that weight could come back. I’m not a magic pill or secret lose weight fast seekers.

However, I think this cleanse will really help though because I did my research on their website and learned there is eating preparation that you should do so the cleanse isn’t a complete shock to your system. They suggest no refined carbohydrates, no dairy, and going vegetarian the 3 days before you start your cleanse and maintaining that diet 3 days after, eating lots of raw or steamed vegetables, fruits, and soups. This means that there is a whole week of eating that is drastically different than my current eating habits which I think will make a huge difference. 

Cleanses also help reset your body because in my case for the 6 days surrounding the cleanse and the cleanse itself – no alcohol, no sweets, no caffeine. This really eliminates cravings which I’m hoping will help me maintain some new habits easier. I’m generally not a sweets person, most of my cravings are savory, but if I start eating sweets too frequently I do begin to crave them.

So this weeks meals are primarily plant based and everything for the most part is pretty basic. Salads with avocados, steamed asparagus and spinach with broth, and finally on Friday night – FISH! However I do finally have the protein bar mash up recipe!! 

Protein Bar Recipe (no bake – inspired by RunEatRepeat and PeanutButter Fingers)
Ingredients 
– 1/2 cup fresh pressed (or all natural) peanut butter 
– 1/2 cup local honey (local is good for your allergies!) 
– 1 packet vanilla protein powder 
– 1 cup oats 
– 1 1/2 TBSP chia seeds 
– mix-ins! (raisins, dried fruit, coconut, choco.chips) 

Directions 
– Put honey and peanut butter in large microwavable bowl and microwave for 1 minute 
– After heating stir the peanut butter and honey together, once blended stir in the protein powder (I recommend using a plastic spatula to stir)
– Next stir in oats, followed by chia seeds, then finally mix-ins. I think doing this 1 ingredient at a time blends the ingredients better. 
– Line a small cookie sheet (I used my toaster oven baking sheet) with parchment paper and create a rectangle with the batter. 
– Put in freezer, let set for about 45 minutes, cut into bars and wrap in foil to store! 

Mine makes about 6 bars and they stay good throughout the week! 

Mileage – 3.2 miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – He that can have patience can have what he will.

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Catch-Up Monday

I finally got my computer back late Friday afternoon and spent the whole weekend playing and listening to some AMAZING music. I played my usual Friday night jazz gig then packed up and went a few blocks away to play another gig. On Saturday I had rehearsal for my recital and went two fabulous recitals – a tuba recital and a cello recital. So many different styles of music and both performers played wonderfully. Then on Sunday morning I watched a great filmed performance of Handel’s opera, Giulio Cesare, followed by another rehearsal, and then played a sweet gig with a friend. We played some classical solo rep and jazz standards then got a great meal and drinks, which are always the best gigs. I swear almost all musicians love food just as much as being paid, it makes a bad gig good and a good gig great!

I managed to squeeze in a run Friday morning and an elliptical workout on Sunday between everything. The recovery time is over though and this week I got right to work with a fast run this morning and I’m planning to start piling on the miles. I have a new goal in mind for May but I’m going to save announcing it until after the insanity of my recital and paper are over. 

In the food world I’ve had a few creative genius moments over the past few days. On Saturday morning I was trying to figure out a way to dress up my eggs for breakfast and all I had left in my fridge were pizza toppings, baby carrots, and kiwi…. So I made PIZZA EGGS.  I chopped up some pepperoni and tossed it in with the eggs just as they were finishing cooking to get some of the flavor in there and heat up the pepperoni. Then I put some grated parmesan on top of the eggs and dipped my forkfuls into some tomato sauce. It was the perfect late brunch. 

Tonight I tried out a new homemade breakfast bar idea and I think it turned out amazing. No-bake protein breakfast bars! I’ll post the recipe tomorrow with photos, but I’m super excited because I tried just a taste before forming the bars and I loved it. 

Time to study like crazy for a String Chamber Literature exam tomorrow (sounds fun right?!?!)

Mileage – 3.75 miles

QOD – You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.

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Cajun Sliders Recipe and Tuscan Soup Recipe!

This week I made Cajun Sliders from a recipe I pulled out of a magazine. The recipe called for half ground beef and half ground turkey. But to clean it up I just used a whole pound of 99% lean ground turkey and it still tasted amazing.

Here is an image of the recipe page!

The best part was how easy the meal was. I was done in 20 minutes. I broiled my red peppers in my toaster oven for about 6 minutes while the sliders were done cooking in under 10 minutes. Talk about FAST. I was able to make the meal, serve up Ben’s plate and cover it with foil for him to eat later and wrap mine up and take it to go in no time. I served it with peas because I LOVE peas and the extra red peppers that didn’t fit on the sliders. We used whole wheat slider rolls and I halved the mayonnaise in the sauce to make it even healthier.

Now onto the Tuscan Soup! I’ve been eating soup everyday for lunch for the past 6 weeks or so and the weight I’ve been struggling to get rid of that I gained when I started grad school has just fallen off (more on that another day)!

Soup plus fruit, and sometimes a veggie if the soup doesn’t have a substantial amount of veggies, is my lunch 5 days a week and I think it works wonders. The past few soups I’ve pulled from my Weight Watchers cookbook and I loved them – this week is no exception. Here is a link to the soup I made this week (I used wine instead of water, which is in the cookbook!). I also split this soup into 4 portions and I have only needed to eat this and a piece of fruit to be totally full for hours.

Today’s workout was a 5:30 am Camp Gladiator workout with lots of running, lunges, squats, and resistance. I have a strong feeling my glutes are going to be a little sore tomorrow. Tonight I’m also going to do some yoga because I’m getting a massage this afternoon before a concert and I want to go to bed reaping all the relaxing benefits of my massage. I HIGHLY recommend massages for musicians and athletes alike – I feel like my whole body functions better after an intense full body massage! 

Mileage – CG workout, Yoga for Runners

QOD – Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment.

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Recovery Week and Upcoming Recipes!

After the strenuous race on Saturday, this week has been a recovery week! And a fun past few days because I got to see the JMU Women’s Basketball team in the NCAA tournament in College Station, TX! While they lost in the 2nd round, they won their first NCAA tournament game since 1991 (which is before some of the team members were born!) and really gave A&M a run for their money in the 2nd round game. I was so excited to watch my favorite JMU sports team play live again and hear the Pep Band – proud alum right here! That band is always amazing and makes every opponents fans fall in love with them because they are THAT good. 

I did my Yoga for Runners on Sunday and Monday morning and Tuesday I did a CG workout. For the most part I actually felt pretty good on Tuesday. I think making sure I wear my compression socks, doing yoga, and foam rolling immediately following a long run makes a huge difference in how I feel after a rough long run. 

Today was supposed to be my first run since the race, but I’m truly exhausted. I’ve hardly slept the past 48 hours and I may have accidentally given myself food poisoning with a bad bag of lettuce….oops. And since it was raining and cold – I have no time to get sick, my recital is 1 month away! – I decided to take it easy today and just go hard tomorrow morning in my CG workout and get a run in on Friday which is my normal rest day. I definitely need to get a full night’s sleep the next few nights to get my body readjusted. I’m normally pretty serious about getting proper sleep (but sometimes it must be sacrificed)!

I missed Sunday Grubday, but tomorrow I HAVE to post this delicious recipe I pulled out of a magazine (probably years ago) and finally tried for the first time this week. Cajun “Sliders” with broiled red peppers. OH MAN. The recipe called for a mix of ground beef and ground turkey but I was sneaky and used 99% lean turkey and the meat seasoning did an amazing job of flavoring. Ben loved it and had no idea that it was ground turkey! I’ll also try to find a link to the delicious (and Weight Watchers) Tuscan sausage soup I’ve been eating for lunch this week.

Mileage – Rest day!

QOD – Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think. (Alberto Salazar)

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Sunday Grubday – with St. Patrick’s Day Recipes!

My 3 week meal planning project is 1/3 of the way complete! Yesterday was a cooking for fun kind of day and I made a recipe out of the Giada cookbook (this one!) that my parents gave me for Christmas! I made her ceviche and tomato-avocado salad! 
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My thoughts on the dish:
1) I love ceviche, and while she recommended halibut I couldn’t find any so I used sole and I would have preferred a thicker fish. 
2) The ceviche “cooks” for 3 hours in the citrus juice and I think that was a bit too long – the lime was a little over powering! 
3) I LOVED the tomato and avocado salad, I don’t like tomatoes all that much and I still thought it was really fresh and a great vehicle for the ceviche 
4) Overall I would definitely make the dish again but I would hold out searching for the right thickness of fish and maybe marinate for a little less time. 

THEN to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I made Guinness Extra Stout brownies! You can find the recipe HERE – I originally found the recipe through Pintrest. I wanted to make cupcakes with beer but the only recipe I had required a few too many ingredients and was pretty labor intensive which I didn’t have time for. These brownies do have a few steps – but they are totally worth it. They aren’t as cakey as other brownies which I love because I’m not a huge cake fan and they have the aftertaste of a dark stout which makes them all the better for St. Patrick’s Day! Gorgeous brownie photo:
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While I didn’t totally plan on it I’m making all my lunches this week pretty green with my Weight Watchers Cookbook Split Pea soup (here’s a link to the recipe) talk about a seriously easy recipe!! Plus my dinner tomorrow and Wednesday (which is also out of Giada’s book) is grilled tofu with a beautiful green avocado cream sauce. 

I’m making some really delicious foil packets this week for dinner with Ben so be on the lookout for that recipe!!! 

Mileage – 7.5 miles 

QOD – Real athletes run, others just play sports. (I find this quote hilarious mostly because almost every sports player has to run at some point in their athletic career)

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Sunday Grubday!

I’m not cooking much this week because I’ll be in San Antonio for 4.5 days this week for the TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) Convention. I am so excited to finally go to this convention and doubly excited to be going as a performer as part of the symphony orchestra! TMEA’s convention is the largest state music educator’s convention in the USA, over 25,000 people attend, and there is an INSANE amount of things to do and see. It’s definitely going to be an awesome musical experience. 

Thankfully unlike our tour last year most of our meals are not provided with limited options or from fast food choices. We receive a per diem to pay for our meals throughout the trip so it’s up to us to budget accordingly. That being said, I made homemade granola bars for breakfast everyday so I could save my per diem for healthy and delicious lunches and dinners. I’m also bringing bananas and apples to eat for breakfast/snacks. I used Peanut Butter Fingers recipe as my base but changed up the mix ins! I used fresh pressed peanut butter from HEB as my nut butter and chia seeds, raisins, and craisins as my “toppings”. I used extra oats and a little extra peanut butter and honey to make my bars a little more substantial. 

Yesterday I went outside for a gorgeous 6.25 mile run!!!
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Despite being cold and drizzly during the week the weather always seems to cooperate and give me perfect weekend running weather! And when I came home I had this delicious tortellini soup/stew concoction waiting for me:
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Find the recipe HERE. I used Neufchâtel instead of cream cheese as always and this was delicious. Ben loved it and there was enough for leftovers for both of us for dinner tonight as well! (Thank goodness because I have zero almost no food in the house!)

Time to log some mega practice hours because there won’t be any way to practice from midday Wednesday until midday Sunday! 

Mileage – 3miles, abs, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. 

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Sunday Grubday!!!

My usual Sunday cooking started on Saturday this week because I knew I’d be busy cooking for and watching the Super Bowl today! (Go Broncos!!! Not like I care all that much) 

Yesterday I made this delicious smelling (haven’t tasted it yet) Tuscan Soup. I made mine without the chicken so I just started with the 2nd instruction. That’s my lunch for this week and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve really become a huge fan of making soup for lunch because I can cook my protein, veggies, and some carbs all in one pot or my crockpot and it uses less dishes to take to school. 

For dinner with Ben this week, I’m making a crockpot Tortellini and Sausage dish! Other than the cream cheese – which I’m replacing with Neufchâtel – it’s a pretty healthy recipe with spinach and tomatoes and it sounds incredibly delicious and warm. Which will be especially nice since it will be pretty “cold” (For Texas) again this week. 

For the Super Bowl party Ben and I are hosting I made a *hopefully* amazing jalapeño popper dip with Neufchâtel, 0% fat greek yogurt, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeños, and some panko bread crumbs. While I seriously love mayo and sour cream I try to make my dips like I would make the rest of the food I eat so I don’t feel guilty. I also made BBQ steak tip chili (all the fat drained and plenty of hidden veggies) and pull apart Cheesy Bacon Ranch Bread (this is the indulgence). Ben is making nachos and the famous queso recipe passed down in the percussion studio. 

I found a very interesting photo with a statistic stating that if you eat home cooked meals 5 times a week you increase your life expectancy by a decade. I’m curious about the other things that affect this stat, but it’s very encouraging because it doesn’t say eat clean, paleo, gluten free, Atkins, or any other specific diet. It just implies that homemade, semi-healthy meals are always going to be better for you in the long run than the mass amounts of sodium, processed fats, engineered ingredients, and unknown additions that are in the food you could eat while out. I like this because I’m a firm believer in the 80/20 rule and clean eating, but it means that what may matter the most is that I prepare almost all the food I eat myself in my own kitchen where I can control the ingredients – that has to be even better for me since it’s roughly 24 out of the 28 meals I eat in a week…right? 
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I’ve found that the best way to eat at home (and save money) is by meal planning. I think meal planning is an amazing thing and it has totally changed how I approach cooking, grocery shopping, and food in general. 

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Yesterday I got in a nice 6 mile run which made me feel a lot better about the half marathon I have coming up in March – I’m hoping they release the new race course soon so I can start running the hills of the course during my long runs! 

Mileage – Rest day! 

QOD – You are what you eat. 

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Sunday Grubday…on Monday (Whoops!) with a Recipe!

On Saturday, Ben and I had a little treat and I bought salmon fillets for dinner and cooked them in my absolute favorite way – FOIL PACKETS. These savory fillets are so good and I had to share! 

Salmon and Asparagus Packets!
Ingredients 
2 salmon fillets 
1 lb asparagus 
1 lemon 
1 tbsp butter 
1 tsp Herbs de Provence 
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + extra for coating foil
2 tsp white wine 
2 tsp capers 
salt and black pepper to taste 
Aluminum Foil 

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and set out 3 foil sheets (approximately 1 sq foot each)
  2. Rub a little olive oil (or non-stick spray) on each of the sheets. 
  3. Place the salmon fillets on 2 of the sheets and the asparagus on the 3rd. 
  4. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tsp of Olive Oil and season with salt and black pepper to taste. 
  5. Cut the lemon in half and two thin slices from the middle, squeeze the outer lemon parts over the salmon fillets. 
  6. Put 1/2 tbsp of butter on the center of each of the fillets and top with a slice of lemon.
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  7. Top each of the salmon fillets with half each of the remaining ingredients (1 tsp white wine, 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence, 1 tsp of capers) and then salt to taste. 
  8. Fold the 3 foil sheets up into packets. Make sure the sides are folded up and wrapped in so nothing drips in the oven. 
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  9. Place all 3 packets on the center rack of the oven and cook the salmon for 15 minutes and the asparagus for 15 – 20 depending on the texture you prefer.  
If you’d like serve with bread, pasta, rice or some other starch, the sauce tastes amazing on anything! And I’d definitely recommend a glass of wine 😉 This is one of my favorite meals to make for a weekend night especially because it doesn’t dirty any dishes!!!
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Two meals I made today were a delicious Tex-Mex ground turkey salad and an amazing soup from my Giada cookbook with ground turkey, kale, carrots, and brown rice. I CANNOT WAIT to try this tomorrow! It is my lunch everyday this week! 
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Today was BRUTAL in CrossFit mostly because it was hot outside today… in January… and we ran. I don’t mind the running at all. We did a lot of shoulder to overhead or ground to overhead which always bothers my wrists. And in general it kicks my ass. My arms are the weakest part of my body and these days always crush me. I am doing some serious upper body stretching tonight because I have A LOT of bass playing to do tomorrow. 
 
Mileage – CrossFit, yoga 
 
QOD – You are what you eat.